Tanker truck catches fire at Antero platform
Post Independent staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
A tanker truck caught fire at an Antero gas drilling platform near the eastern end of the Garfield County Regional Airport runway Thursday afternoon, drawing emergency responders from two nearby towns.
A danger of explosion from the fire, which started around 3 p.m., prompted the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office to shut down traffic at the eastern end of the airport road. The airport road forms an east-to-west loop from the Interstate 70 interchange, south around the airport and west to Rifle.
The road from the west was left open as far as the airport entrance, according to one report.
The truck’s driver sustained minor burns from the fire and was taken by ambulance to the Grand River Medical Center, according to officials.
The Rifle and Burning Mountains fire departments both responded, sending fire trucks and an ambulance to the scene.
According to Rifle fire department officials, the truck that caught fire was a “hot oil truck,” used to heat water used to clean what are called “frac’ing tanks,” which are containers that store fluids used in the hydraulic fracturing of gas-well bores.
“There was propane burning,” said Mike Morgan of the Rifle department, explaining that the truck carries two small propane tanks to heat the water in the main tank, and that the fire may have been caused by a malfunction of the heating mechanism.
But, Morgan said, because “it was a fairly remote location,” no evacuation was necessary. The precise cause of the fire is under investigation.
Sheriff’s spokeswoman Tanny McGinnis told the Post Independent that she had learned of the fire late in the day and had little information to pass on about the incident.
She explained that she had handed off public information responsibilities to Antero official Jon Black, whom McGinnis referred to as the public information officer for the incident.
Black, however, declined to comment and referred calls to Antero operations manager Kevin Killstrom, at the Denver office of the company.
Killstrom did not respond to calls for information.
Rifle fire officials said the fire was under control by 3:45 p.m., although fire personnel were still conducting a mopping up operation at 5 p.m.
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